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Druley: Everyone into the pools: Geneva Park District gains ground

The Geneva Park District is set to welcome the Shodeen family’s donation of the Mill Creek Swim Club, a move that fills a handful of community needs.

The club – which features a 25-meter, five-lane lap pool along with a toddler pool, playground and club facility – provides more aquatic programming space and the option for earlier open swim times, augmenting the Park District’s Sunset Pool.

Located at 39W125 S. Mill Creek Drive in Geneva, the Mill Creek pool is expected to operate from mid-June through mid-August. Sunset Pool opens May 24, with the season ending after Labor Day weekend.

“We envision a west side swimming location that focuses on aquatic programming and rental opportunities with the same focus on safety we have achieved at Sunset Pool,” Geneva Park District executive director Sheavoun Lambillotte wrote in an email.

Acting on behalf of the Shodeen family, Paul Ruby, general manager of Shodeen’s Herrington Inn and Spa in Geneva, presented the donation, Lambillotte wrote.

North v’ball gaining steam: After graduating the bulk of last year’s IHSA third-place state tournament finisher, any experience is valuable currency for the varsity newcomers to St. Charles North’s boys volleyball team.

Saturday’s West Aurora Invitational provided the latest helping, as North finished fourth among 12 teams.

“I played a little outside, I played a little right side, I played everywhere,” sophomore Jack Kolodziej said. “I got a taste for varsity, and I think it’s going to really help us as a team going on and moving forward.”

North played without senior setter Jeff Rollins, who has spent spring break in Germany with the SCN Jazz Workshop. A violinist and trombonist who was accepted into the University of Illinois’ music program last week, Rollins’ presence lends harmony in his more physically exerting extracurricular, too.

“Really, with the setter, it’s like your quarterback,” North Stars coach Todd Weimer said. “Who will you do better with: Jay Cutler or the backup? I would think Cutler, right?”

Ben Connor and Johnny Davern filled in at the position Saturday, with Connor contributing 44 assists. Rollins’ absence – which extends into road matches Monday and today – still can provide a temporary benefit, as Weimer sees it.

“We’re young and we’re improving,” he said, “but you’d rather see these mistakes being made now than later or during regionals.”

Cougars return home: After splitting a four-game series at Quad Cities over the weekend to begin the Midwest League season, the Kane County Cougars open the home portion of their schedule tonight.

Fort Wayne, a San Diego Padres affiliate, visits at 6:30 p.m. as the Cougars begin a six-game homestand.

Eight Cougars spent at least part of the 2013 season in Kane County, which returns manager Mark Johnson and hitting coach Tom Beyers.

“It’s great to have MJ back, it’s great to have Tommy back. See some familiar faces,” Cougars general manager Curtis Haug said. “Obviously, we see some new people on the field staff [including pitching coach David Rosario]. But overall, we’ve got a whole new set of players, pretty much.”

• Kevin Druley is a sportswriter for the Kane County Chronicle. He can be reached at 630-845-5347 or Follow him on Twitter at @kevindruley.

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